Playing With Food – It’s Not Just For Children

by Sherry Riter in Art  ,Food,Lessons of Life

If your parents were like mine, hundreds and hundreds of times they said, “Don’t play with your food. Just eat it!” Thinking back, I realize that the only time I didn’t want to “clean my plate” was when I was served food that I didn’t think tasted good. I’m sure my parents had “good health” intentions, but surely they could have just spared me from eating canned peaches.

To prepare the “gross” food for my consumption, I was often led to “playing” with it. The main goal was to change the taste of the food, so it swam in Vinegar River, sailed on Green Bean Ocean, plunged into the Gravy Sea and often dived into Mustard Pond. While I sat at the table alone, I always had the urge to squi-i-i-i-i-ish food between my fingers. However, that was totally out of the question, so I repressed all those childish feelings.

Now I’m all grown and I constantly play with my food to release my inner child. It is very therapeutic!

I have a totally different attitude about food. I think getting messy is relaxing, so I gnaw and lick every messy morsel and drip. I like touching my food with my hands. Sometimes, the pure deliciousness leaves me breathless. Obviously, food makes me feel happy. No, it makes me feel jubilant!

I noticed that while I was making the Smiling Sunshine Carrot Muffins, two very cool things happened with the ingredients.

It was almost…art.

The dry ingredients looked like The Grinch’s face.

Grinch Face

I know! It is phenomenal!

(If you don’t think so, humor me.)

After I finished with the dry ingredients, I had to start another bowl with the wet ingredients. I slowly added one ingredient at a time. When all the wet ingredients had been added to the bowl, I noticed the coolest bubbles.

Seriously cool!

bubbles in the wet ingredients

big bubble in wet ingredients

These bubbles look like a dinosaur neck and head…

lots of bubbles in the wet ingredients

Or a very gawdy earring.

lots of bubbles

All these bubbles look like a fish…

artisitc looking bubbles

A fish that is swimming!

bubbles that look like a fish

Cooking is truly an artistic, creative endeavor and if you take the time, it is highly enjoyable. So the next time your child grabs a handful of food and lets it squish through their fingers, you should give it a try and join them!

Really! Go ahead! Playing with food isn’t just for children.

You’ll be surprised at how relaxing it feels.


The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skip_D May 8, 2012 at 12:54 am

I used to get the same admonition not to play with my food… killjoys!!!

Then I got sent to Ethiopia, where food is eaten with the fingers (right hand only, of course!), & that was such fun! There’s an old Abyssinian tradition called ‘gursha’ – feeding the honored guest by hand. A big assortment of the best, most select morsels are selected with thumb & first three fingers, brought to the guest’s open mouth, & inserted politely, using the thumb to slide the morsel mouthward.

I had some student friends who liked to play with traditions, & when we were eating, we would compete to see who could feed the most immense gursha to one another. Of course, it got rather messy – especially after I got out of the Army & grew my beard 🙂

Food fight!!! 😀


2 The Redhead Riter May 8, 2012 at 12:58 am


“it got rather messy – especially after I got out of the Army & grew my beard 🙂 Food fight!!! 😀 ”

Okay. I’m totally laughing out loud with visions of you and your beard covered with food.


3 Stéfan May 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

Yep, I completely agree with you – food is fun to play with. (Who needs Play-Doh when you have Jell-O.)


4 The Redhead Riter May 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

Stéfan! I love Jell-O!!!! Cherry is my favorite!

Glad you liked the bubbles!


5 Stéfan May 8, 2012 at 8:22 am

I forgot to mention that those bubbles are amazing!


6 Alaina May 8, 2012 at 9:08 am

Very cool! I have to admit, when I’m done eating at a restaurant, I’ll play with my food out of boredom or just because I need something to do. It’s just fun 🙂


7 The Redhead Riter May 8, 2012 at 9:10 am

Playing with food is good any time 🙂 Alaina


8 Kelley May 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

I love to play with my food! I also love to cook the food. As a web comic I read says “baking is science for hungry people”. I think that is so true and that it can also be an art, a very relaxing one.


9 The Redhead Riter May 8, 2012 at 11:10 am

Kelley, thanks! I love the quote!


10 andy May 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Like everything else, no. Either put your heart (and fingers) in it, or forget about it. Playing with food while preparing or consuming it – fun and fullfilling. Playing with left overs, yuck. 🙂


11 The Redhead Riter May 9, 2012 at 1:04 am



12 Karen May 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

The bubbles are totally awesome, but not sure I want to squish canned peaches between my fingers.
But if you really want to play with food try mixing cornstarch with water, it’s a solid and a liquid, or put an egg in a cup of vinegar for a few days (Raw in the shell) Always love your posts and your pictures!


13 The Redhead Riter May 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm

LOL Thanks for the suggestions, Karen! I’m glad you enjoy the posts and the pictures. I sure do enjoy sharing them with you.


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